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CSEA workers rally for higher pay

Local News
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County workers are rallying for higher pay, after close to 2,000 of them have been working without a contract since 2013.

CSEA representatives said they only declared an impasse to force the county to the table, because HR Director Brayton Connard kept canceling their scheduled meetings.

CSEA represents about 1,800 workers and is the largest collective bargaining unit in Monroe County, but they’ve been without a contract since 2013.

“CSEA has had the same problem as the other unions,” said County Legislator Justin Wilcox. “They’ve found the county won’t negotiate in good faith. They’ve found they’ve had the same insults thrown at them, that basically they’re replaceable.”

Similar to Monroe County jail deputies, CSEA reps say they’ve been repeatedly and deliberately brushed off by the county – an issue county legislators say they’re hearing more frequently.

“Is Brayton calling the shots or is the county executive?” Wilcox said. “Because we have a real crisis – a mass exodus of deputies and probation officers leaving for better jobs, better opportunities.

Ove Overmyer says people are leaving, and they’ve tried for months to set up meetings.

“I’ve had discussions with lots of folks who say they’re retiring early because there is no contract,” he said.

CSEA represents water treatment workers, probation officers, and county hospital employees.

Overmyer says without contracts, employees are retiring early – posing a threat to public services and safety across the board.

News 8 reached out to the county several times since we started covering this story. On Tuesday, the county responded with the following statement:

“The County has always bargained in good faith.  However, the Taylor Law requires confidentiality and it is the County’s longstanding position not to discuss the status of ongoing labor negotiations. The County and the Deputy Sheriff’s Association (DSA) representatives are scheduled for a third meeting of 2016 on August 11th.  The County is scheduled to meet with the CSEA on August 17th.”

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